Wednesday, November 28, 2018

ceaseless peregrinations

Lately, I've been waking up in the middle of the night and turning myself over like a pancake in the hands of an indecisive line cook on a lukewarm stove.

Nothing seems to assuage the restlessness: not even, apparently, rest.

It is rather horrifying to discover how deep an emptiness you are at 3am. When there is nothing but the night pressing in around you, you discover yourself to be just one endless cavern of aching desire. I find myself torn open, aching for being met in a way I do not currently even have the language to describe.

I am just one yawning pit of only desire. I am all torn into pieces, wishing and hoping for something that doesn't even exist—whose memories are experienced in fractals and in fits and starts.

guess I’m just going to resign myself to being restless, I say—the first time that a trace of bitterness has ever crept into my conversations with the quiet Jesuit spiritual director.

Usually, when I say something immature, ridiculous, or overly dramatic, the Jesuit tries to hide his smile behind his scarf or jacket. He doesn’t smile at this.

I think, he says, you could ask: “Where can I be of service?” And this will help direct the restlessness.

I nod, slowly.

That's wise, I say, out loud. Because I can think of nothing else to say and I am not wise enough to just keep silent. Instead of meeting a question with an answer, to give my rather desperate questioning a guiding question to ask is wise. It is helpful, not because I will find the answer, but because instead of exhausting myself in a life as a flailing interrogative, I have become a single question, who can receive a single answer.

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